This afternoon, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez sent the following message to the White House email list, explaining why we need to raise the minimum wage.
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Hey, all --
Last Friday, I spoke at a rally in Cleveland about raising the minimum wage. While I was there, I had the opportunity to talk with 11-year-old Jesseca Hudson, who came out to show her support.
Before I'd even boarded my plane back to D.C., she had already emailed me, telling me how she wanted to help in the fight to give millions of workers the wages they deserve.
Jesseca doesn't think that someone working full-time should struggle to make ends meet. But full-time workers earning the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earn about $14,500 a year in wages -- below the poverty line for a family of two.
That's unacceptable. And it's why the President has called on Congress and state governments to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour -- and on businesses to act on their own to increase the pay of their workers.
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too -- raising the wage will put more money in people's pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.
The bottom line: America deserves a raise.
And it's not just 11-year-olds that understand why it's a problem that the minimum wage has lost nearly a third of its value since its peak in 1968. Nearly three out of four Americans agree we should raise the wage.
Thanks for your help.
Secretary Tom Perez
Department of Labor